March 04, 2021 2 min read

All About Beeswax

Bees as pollinators plays an essential role in keeping our people and planet healthy. They also give us amazing things like honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and wax. Unfortunately, due to climate change and human activities, these creatures are under threat and in need of our protection.

(Scroll to the bottom for practical ways you can save our Singapore bees!)

How Do Bees Produce Beeswax?

Worker bees have four special pairs of glands on the underside of their abdomens. This liquid wax secreted hardens when exposed to air. With the help of their legs, the worker bees then take the wax and chews them until it is pliable and carefully shape them into hexagonal cells that forms the honeycomb.

Honeycombs serves as honey and pollen storage as well as the nest for their brood. It is estimated that bees need to consume 5kg of honey for every 500g of wax secreted!

 

Beeswax secreted from bee abdomen

Are All Beeswax Equal?

There are many types of waxes: animal origin, vegetal origin, and mineral origin in the market that are cheaper and faster to produce than beeswax.

This unfortunately means that adulterating beeswax with cheaper alternatives like paraffin has become a common practice. If your wax is too cheap to be true, it probably is! 

How Are Beeswax Extracted?

Beeswax cannot be harvested without first harvesting honey. We source our beeswax from smaller suppliers in Thailand that adopts sustainable beekeeping practices.

Instead of discarding the combs after honey is extracted, thesecombs are placed in water and heated until all the wax is melted. The wax then goes through a filtering process to remove debris. We are careful never to overheat our beeswax as it affects its colour and property.

This is an extremely time consuming and labour intensive process. Unlike refined beeswax, the result of filtered beeswax is a beautiful golden beeswax that has a light honey aroma which varies with the age of the comb and diet of bees.

 

How Can I Do My Part In Bee Conservation?

Did you know that Singapore has over 100 species of bees, which include honey bees, stingless bees, carpenter bees, and many more? The worse thing you can do is to call an exterminator to gas them to death.

Please consider also to: 

  1. Not use pesticides or herbicides on plants in your garden. Instead, use organic and natural alternatives like neem oil.
  2. Plant your garden with bee friendly plants. Coral vine, golden dewdrop, blue snakeweed, false heather, candle bush are some species recommended by Nparks.
  3. Educate yourself about bees – they are not dangerous! Do NOT call exterminators, instead consider leaving them be or call a beehive relocator like The Sundowner SG.


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